Sunday, June 26, 2011

Song Of The Week: 6/26/11

Song: "Said And Done"

Artist: Eighteen Visions

Album: "Obsession"

Year: 2004

"Said And Done" is yet another "relationship on the brink" type of song. Lots of heartbreak in the world of music!! In this song, the vocalist appears to be totally done with the relationship and tells his partner to move on with her life and to turn the page while she is still trying to save what seems to be a lost cause of a relationship. Eighteen Visions formed as a band back in 1995. In the early days, the band was very much a metalcore band with mostly screaming vocals. As the years went by, Eighteen Visions became more and more melodic and by the time of their sixth self-titled album, they featured purely melodic vocals with no screaming. As for style, you could say that they are peers of bands such as Avenged Sevenfold or Bullet For My Valentine. There are definitely some shades of metal, hardcore, straight rock and punk in their music. Where Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine really cemented their style musically is where Eighteen Visions couldn't seem to do the same. Those two bands, while venturing in different forms of music, you can tell they are based in metal. Eighteen Visions seem to go all over the place from album to album. Perhaps this is the reason that they couldn't hold firm a steady fanbase. The minute you begin to enjoy the band as a metalcore fan, they abruptly change their style on the next record say to a more punk feel. These changes probably alienated more fans than it brought new ones. Eighteen Visions was a band that just couldn't seem to figure itself out. By 2007, Eighteen Visions would decide to break-up amidst disappointing record sales of their self-titled major label album. 2004's "Obsession" was their most successful album and even that only managed to sell some 200,000 copies. Despite their struggles, both to find themselves and from various line-up changes, not many bands can say they lasted twelve years and released six albums. Currently, all the members of Eighteen Visions are working on various new musical projects. For fans of Eighteen Visions' lead singer James Hart, you'll be happy to know he does still front a band and it's called Burn Halo, a much more straight-forward rock band.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Song Of The Week: 6/19/11

Song: "Needles And Pins"

Artist: Deftones

Album: "Deftones"

Year: 2003

I've been on a bit of a Deftones kick the last couple of weeks, hence the back to back songs of the week! As for this song, "Needles And Pins" appears to be about finding someone who is as talented and gifted as you when it comes to what you do best. The first verse almost seems like a feeling out of the individual, perhaps in a competitive way. By the time the second verse hits, you sense that a collaboration with that person is at hand. By combining the talents of the two people, they feel that they are unstoppable and cannot be touched. The whole scenario kind of reminds me of the Lennon/McCartney relationship with The Beatles. Seperately, they were both very talented singers and songwriters but when they wrote together, they were biggest band ever! Without getting to much into the history of the Deftones which I explained a little bit in my previous blog, i'll just repeat that they formed as a band in 1988 and have releases six studio album in that span. 2003's "Deftones" was their fourth release and may be considered quited possibly their heaviest album to date. This album took a year to complete and cost the band some 2.5 million dollars to produce, some of the cost going to fines from their record label for missing deadlines. When it was all said and done however, "Deftones" would reach as high as number 2 on the Billboard 200 list. Lead singer Chino Moreno said this about the album, "It's all on record. We told motherfuckers not to lump us in with nu metal because when those bands go down we ain't going to be with them." Moreno's comments ring very true when you look at the popular bands at that time. Staind, who were once very heavy on their first couple of albums, had become soft and radio friendly while another band like Linkin Park just totally lacked any bite with it's music. The Deftones remained true to their style and who they were throughout their career, a main reason why they are so well respected amongst their peers. In 2010, the band released their sixth album, "Diamond Eyes" and currently have tours set up in Europe and Australia in support of that album.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Song Of The Week: 6/12/11

Song: "Around The Fur"

Artist: Deftones

Album: "Around The Fur"

Year: 1997

"Around The Fur" appears to be a song about how superficial and shallow those are that revolve their entire existence around glamour and vanity. That type of lifestyle just seems to be very hollow and lacking any substance and you can tell the vocalist really has little need for it in his own life. The Deftones were formed back in 1988 by three highschool friends from California. They could go under the genre of alternative metal amongst other things but they just stray enough outside the lines that it makes it hard to define their sound by one genre. Their music hits the listener first with it's heavy and aggressive sound. Then it soars to other places with lead singer, Chino Moreno's atmospheric vocals which eventually lead to gutteral screams which stir the final product into a frenzy. The Deftones never quite get recognized with being at the forefront of any musical movement, however. They often seem to get lost a little in the back while the music industry goes from one fad to the next. There is absolutely no doubt about this band's integrity nor the respect that they have in the circles that matter most, their fanbase and their peers. Just some of the band's that have praised the Deftones along the way include Alice In Chains, Suicidal Tendencies, Tool and Korn. During their 20 plus year career, the Deftones have released six studio albums, all of which have at least achieved Gold status. In 2006, longtime band member, bassist Chi Cheng, was seriously injured in an auto accident which really shook the band and it's members. They would ultimately bring in another bassist for the recording of their last album, 2010's "Diamond Eyes". Currently, the band completed a tour in the fall of 2010 with Alice In Chains and Mastodon. They also have several tour dates on schedule for Europe and Australia in 2011. As of now, Cheng is still recovering from his serious injuries and cannot join the band at this time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Song Of The Week: 6/5/11

Song: "Hellbent"

Artist: Superdrag

Album: "Instant Live: The Paradise. Boston, MA 9/5/03"

Year: 2004

"Hellbent" appears to be a song about wanting to get away from your current living condition and start something new. You get the sense the vocalist seems to build up the courage to move on only to fall back into the same old situations. He can't seem to break the normalcy that is his life. You also get the feeling he is talking about the "rock star" life. He keeps getting sucked in by the drugs and the "hangers on" that only seem to bring him down. Perhaps "Hellbent", which was originally recorded for Superdrag's second album, "Head Trip In Every Key", was a bit of foreshadowing of what was to come for the band, especially lead singer John Davis. After achieving some success in alternative music circles with their debut album, "Regretfully Yours" and the hit single "Sucked Out", it seemed Superdrag really started to veer against the music industry with their follow-up releases. "Head Trip" saw Superdrag really tap into Beatles influences where Superdrag's record label, Elektra really wanted them to ride the wave of the alternative bandwagon and create more "Sucked Out" type songs. On their next release, "In The Valley Of Dying Stars", Davis put his frustration with the industry on his sleeve with the song "Keep It Close To Me". Davis would stand firm and not allow his creations to be compromised by outside forces. By the time of 2002's "Last Call For Vitriol", the wear and tear of physical and emotional strains really began to weigh on the band. Alcohol began to take control of Davis' life in a way that he could no longer function if he continued to live that way. In 2003, Davis would find God, get sober and ultimately leave Superdrag behind. He would release two solo albums between 2003 and 2007. Good news for fans of Superdrag came in 2007. Rumors were confirmed that the original band members would reunite for a small tour. In 2009, Superdrag released a brand new album entitled "Industry Giants". The band would continue to tour in support of that album throughout 2009. Currently, the band is in a bit of a hiatus period again with all the members working on various side projects. John Davis, however, has not closed the book on working on new Superdrag material in the future.